Tag Archives: Planning

Fabulous Bachelorette Party – Planned in 14 days

This past month I had the honor of helping a very dear friend of mine plan her Bachelorette party. We had the unique circumstance of having a very short timeframe to plan this get-together (due to scheduling conflicts with a number of other friends with Fall weddings) and boy was it a crash-course lesson on how to plan something fabulous….on a very quick schedule!

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Throughout the experience, I realized that while an extra few weeks might have a helped a bit, it’s actually quite easy to simplify your party plan (with a little help from friends!) and still make it a special event. Here were the steps I took to make it a success:

  1. Lock in the Date/Time. As soon as I got the news that we had a weekend confirmed, priority number one was to email the invited guests and get the date on the calendar. It was true I had no idea what the party was going to involve, but it was super important to me that we got the word out and were able to get as many girls there as possible. While my gut reaction was to send out a Paperless Post, I wanted to map out the various time slots on the weekend to get a good sense on who could attend specific activities, so instead I put together a simple chart on Google Docs and asked the attendees to mark their availability. As soon as I had responses, it really helped me understand critical mass and fine-tune the points throughout the weekend that would maximize attendance.
  1. Reserve Activities. TripleKnots bestie Meredith graciously jumped on board to help me with some bachelorette party brainstorming. Within a 12-hour period, she had some fantastic Bay Area ideas mapped out and from that list I settled on the primary activity of the weekend—a fabulous day spa trip. Within the next few days, I had the spa activities planned, a table at a cute local restaurant reserved for lunch, and a chocolate and wine tasting lined up. Voila!
  1. Get the Goodies. Now it was time to move on to all the details…which meant a few hours dedicated to some major Etsy research, something that I knew I needed to get ordered if I wanted my items to come in time. After some consideration, I narrowed my Etsy shopping list to: a customized sash (because no bride-to-be’s outfit is complete without a bachelorette sash), personalized hair ties (because I received these at Mere’s bachelorette weekend and LOVED them), and some monogrammed sunhats (because I had been drooling over them on Instagram).

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I also made a quick stop at my local Target and scored a major steal when I found these incredibly cute (and large, I may add) reversible beach totes in the clearance section. I knew these would be the perfect accessory to carry our necessities around in at the spa.

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I also found a number of goodies to add to my party favors—which were a slightly modified rendition of a “Hangover Kit” but instead of Advil and Band-Aids, I focused on a cuddle-up theme including tea, a snack bar, lip balm and a spot of chocolate.

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The final component that I focused on was a few simple touches to add to our dinner table. Meredith (the friend who has good handwriting) joined my planning effort by locating and scripting some adorable place cards, which I added to a simple dinner menu that I developed with the restaurant chef.

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Despite it being an incredibly busy 10 days, I was nearly ready for the big weekend.  And the weekend came before I knew it!

We had a lovely time at a local spa, where we enjoyed massages and some girl talk by their pool.

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We had a delicious dinner at a new and up-and-coming restaurant, who showered us with fabulous service and free shots, I must add!

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I think one of the best things that I took away from these very busy two weeks was: “do not perfect be the enemy of good.” There was no way I was going to be able to pull off details that were worthy of Pinterest or a fabulous three-day trip down to Cabo. Rather, I pulled in my expectations and really focused on maximizing the experience for my dear friend and all our guests.

The outcome? We had a fabulous time!

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My Best Friend’s Wedding

Our guest blog this week comes from Whitney Hoover, who is Meredith’s best friend. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Whitney loves nothing more than experimenting in her kitchen. When not perusing a farmers market or behind a stove, she is usually enjoying the great outdoors whether hiking, reading, jogging or training for an upcoming triathlon. Read her blog, ‘Nursing My Appetite,’ to learn more about how she navigates through her culinary adventures as well as the rest of her life… with a happy heart! 


Note from the editor: Whitney served as the maid of honor at Meredith’s wedding that took place in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 23rd. Today, Whitney is sharing some of her most cherished memories from the celebrations. From the engagement party to the Big Day, take a walk with Whitney down memory lane…

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The Engagement Party:

The engagement party was such a fun night because it was the first time that family and friends of both Meredith and Denison had a chance to all come together.  I had a ton of fun planning it with some of Meredith’s closest girlfriends, and seeing all of our ideas come to fruition – and seeing Meredith and Denison’s faces when they arrived – was just the best.  I’d already had a chance to meet Denison’s sister Erica (whom I have come to absolutely love), but it wasn’t until the weekend of the engagement party that I met his parents… which was undoubtedly one of the most special parts of the evening.

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The Bridal Shower:

Meredith was lucky enough to have not one, but two gorgeous bridal showers!  I was able to attend the one in the Bay Area, which was hosted by the lovely Laura Nathan.  In addition to the conversation, laughter and games, I’d have to say my favorite part was hearing everyone share their favorite things about Meredith, from memories together to the beautiful qualities she brings to life in her relationships.  It was also fun to see Mere’s reaction to the giant gold glitter that wrapped my gift (because who doesn’t love anything covered in gold glitter?!).  Shout out to Paper Source for the awesome wrapping paper. 🙂

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The Hatchelorette Party:

For The Hatchelorette, we headed to Palm Springs and somehow lucked out with renting Sonny & Cher’s vacation home – which was all kinds of awesome.  The weather cooperated and the weekend was filled with laughs, dancing and great conversation, but what made this weekend so special for me was the women whom I shared it with.  Meredith has an incredible group of girlfriends who are hilarious, bright, kind, genuine, creative, thoughtful and a ton of fun to be around.  Of course, this is a true testament to Meredith as a person, sister and friend.  I had the time of my life celebrating with everyone!

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The Rehearsal Day:

In the year (plus) leading up to the wedding, Meredith and I shared countless conversations, text messages and emails regarding all of the planning and coordination (not to mention elbow grease) that went into bringing it all together.  However, it didn’t really become real until we lined up and rehearsed the ceremony.  Standing next to my best friend as we ran through everything for her wedding the next day was surreal.  One of my favorite parts of the day was how it ended.  Meredith had asked her sister Kendra and I to spend the night with her, and Mere wanted to do 100 sit-ups before the big day (something she’d been doing nightly for awhile).  100 sit-ups soon turned into 300, and I will always remember the groaning and giggles that accompanied the late-night workout.

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The Big Day: 

The day kicked off on such a fun and happy note when, bright and early at 6am, Kendra and I woke Meredith up by tossing tissue paper confetti at her and yelling: “IT’S YOUR WEDDING DAY!”  The rest of the day was filled with so much love and joy that it’s impossible to pick a favorite moment, but I will always remember the fun of getting ready with the girls in our darling matching PJs (a surprise gift from Meredith), seeing Meredith looking absolutely radiant in her wedding dress and beaming as she prepared to see her groom for the first time that day, tearing up the dance floor at the reception, and being filled with joy and gratitude as I stood next to my best friend and soul sister as she exchanged vows with the man of her dreams reality.

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Pointers for Potlucks

Food often accompanies the festive winter holidays and what better way to make a gathering easier to manage than hosting a potluck? Here are a few of the tools I recommend for streamlining the scheduling and the menu planning.

Scheduling made easy:

My favorite solution to find the best date and time that works for an event is Doodle. Trying to coordinate schedules for multiple people can be a bit of a bear. Below is a screenshot of a fake poll that I set up to show a hypothetical potluck that is scheduled for April of 2016. As you can see from the user interface, folks can enter their name and availability. In this instance, Sat., April 9 at 12pm works best for everyone.

Menu planning made easy:

As for the dishes and accoutrements, this year I discovered the online tool Perfect Potluck. It is wonderful for coordinating ownership for various items. As the host you can list out what you think you’ll need; e.g.,: 3 appetizers, 4 mains, 2 desserts,  2 bottles of wine, 12-pack of soda, etc.  Then, participants can easily sign up. In the screen shot below for a summer picnic potluck, the names and phone numbers have been blocked for privacy.

 Our Favorite Potluck Dish

And speaking of the menu…perhaps you’d like to try one of our favorite recipes for your next gathering?

Meredith…My go-to potluck dish is Mac ‘N Cheese! My fiancé and I are suckers for cheesy goodness over pasta, but I don’t often make macaroni and cheese unless I’m making it for a crowd (goodness knows we’d devour the whole dish in one sitting!). I’ve tried several recipes over the years, but this Cheesy Macaroni and Cheese from Mommy? I’m Hungry! food blog is one of my favorites. Pasta, cheese, and butter…does it get any better? This dish is the homemade version of the classic bluebox from Kraft that started it all! Mac ‘n cheese is always a crowd-pleaser, and with this recipe you get it right every time!

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Kristi…Whenever a potluck calls, I immediately think salads. First, my husband is a strict Paleo so I unfortunately have to stay away from those delicious casserole dishes and decadently sweet treats (…MOST of the time). He’s a major green veggie eater, and so am I, so salads tend to meet both of our needs. What I love about bringing a salad is that you can completely ‘style’ your salad to a specific occasion or season—something with fresh citrus, avocado and romaine for the Summer, to a cranberry and roasted walnut over a bed of spinach for the Fall. I typically start with some of my favorite blogs, including Gimme Some Oven who has a beautiful gallery of salad recipes, but I do like to go off the grid and incorporate in seasonal veggies that I have on hand. Finally, salads are incredibly portable. I typically weave as many ingredients as I can and bring a small mason jar of dressing. Also, there are so many fantastic multi-functional containers that allow you to prep, transport and serve your dish.

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Bri… Seasonal fruit salad. (You can tell I’m not the chef of the group!) For a potluck this fall, I’ll likely use persimmon and pomegranate. For taste, price and environmental benefits, I prefer to use organic produce from local farmers, so shopping at my town farmers’ market makes it quite easy to put together a sweet and healthy dish for potlucks.

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Bon Appétit!